Pancake Bites

Feeling inspired from my weekend cupcake bonanza and pushed over the edge by the discovery that today is National Pancake Day (I’m such a sucker for the themed food days…), I decided to try my hand at some pancake muffins. Cupcakes. Muffins. I don’t know what they are. I mean, really, what’s the difference? They look muffin-ish so that’s what I’m going with.

Before I bestow upon you the great and wondrous cupcake/muffin-ness, lets take a look at what yours truly did while photographing her way around the kitchen: God, I’m so graceful sometimes it hurts. Hurts my phone that is. My silicone case shall smell of maple for weeks. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse.

So here’s the deal with these little bites. I made bites – otherwise known as mini-muffins. You can absolutely make these full size, as I did for one lonely muffin, but the bites are tasty and, well, bite-size so you can eat more and not feel guilty (unless you eat like 10 – then it kind of defeats the purpose). Also, I snagged both the pancake and buttercream recipe from Martha. I adjusted the buttercream slightly and I honestly could have just stopped after making it, given you the recipe to eat straight out the bowl like a caveman and you would have been happy as a clam. It’s that good. Finally, the candied bacon recipe is the same one I used for my bacon biscuits back in the day. I knew figuring out how to do that would come in handy…

Buttermilk Pancake Bites with Maple Buttercream and Candied Bacon  

Yields: 24 mini muffins or probably about 12 normal size

Difficulty: Medium, but could be easier if using a box pancake mix

Ingredients:

For the muffins (adapted from this pancake recipe):

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  •  pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, warm

For the Maple Buttercream (adapted from this recipe):

  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (you know the good, expensive kind)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar

For the Candied Bacon:

  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Directions:

For the muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Add all wet ingredients in with the dry and whisk
  4. Mix until incorporated and only slightly lumpy
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin tin.  If using mini muffins, pour to the top. If using full size, fill 2/3rds of the way up
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and begin checking every 5 minutes after to see if a toothpick entered comes out clean. These take a surprisingly long time to cook throughout so be patient.
  7. Remove from the tin and place on a wire rack with a pan underneath.
  8. Using a pastry brush, paint the tops of the muffins with the warm syrup until coated
  9. Cool completely before icing

For the Maple Buttercream:

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg yolk for 5 minutes. Set aside
  2. In a small pan, heat the maple syrup until it boils and reaches a temperature of about 240 (use a candy thermometer). If you don’t have a thermometer, just bring it to a boil for about 10 minutes
  3. With the mixer running (so as not to curdle the egg yolks) slowly add the maple syrup reduction to the egg yolks. It will be pretty sticky
  4. Once all the syrup has been added, begin adding the cold butter, one piece at a time until it is all incorporated
  5. Slowly add the powdered sugar about half the amount at a time until mixed in.

For the Candied Bacon:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a bowl, place the bacon strips and cover with brown sugar.
  3. Using your fingers, massage the sugar into the bacon (sexy kinda)
  4. Place the sugared bacon strips on a wire rack with a pan underneath (this is important unless you enjoy cleaning cemented bacon goo off the bottom of your oven)
  5. Bake for 20 minutes
  6. Remove the bacon from the oven and allow to cool – preferably not on the wire rack as it will stick.

To assemble the muffins – pipe, drizzle, or spoon the frosting onto the bites. I chose the piping method and look how pretty they turned out (this was just before the phone got smothered).

Top the muffin with a small piece of the candied bacon.

Enjoy your bite-size breakfast!

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